Barbiturates and Benzodiazepines

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Barbituratesand Benzodiazepines


Alcoholismis the abuse of alcohol that leads to its dependence and withdrawalsymptoms in case one quits drinking. The clinical withdrawalproblems depend on the amount of alcohol consumed and the duration ofconsumption. Some of the most common symptoms are shaking hands,experiencing mild anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and headaches. Afterhalf a day without drinking, some people may experience stronghallucinations (Portney&ampWatkins., 2015).To treat some of these symptoms, barbiturates and benzodiazepines areused.

Barbituratesand Benzodiazepines are sedatives used for the psychiatric treatmentof anxiety and insomnia. However, the use of barbiturates has beenreplaced with benzodiazepines since they are considered safer andactive in minimizing problems resulting from alcohol withdrawal. Thereason benzodiazepines are recommended is their slow rate of reactionhence can hardly cause addictions. Moreover, the GABA-chloridereceptor in benzodiazepines has the same effects with alcohol(Portney&ampWatkins., 2015).

Barbiturateshelp in inducing anesthesia during therapies, for instance,electroconvulsive. For patients with epilepsy, they assist inreducing the seizures. They also facilitate the evaluation oflanguage in memory for patients about to undergo surgery. However, ifthey are used for alcohol withdrawals and delirium, medicalpractitioners deem them unsafe (Portney&ampWatkins., 2015).On the other hand, benzodiazepines are useful for persons who suffergeneral anxiety disorder as well as eliminating the frequency ofpanic disorders. Benzodiazepines are also effective in reducingsocial anxiety disorder, insomnia, alcohol withdrawals, allow musclerelaxation and can effortlessly deal with seizures. However, the drugcan cause the patient to use alcohol, experience hangover-likesymptoms and develop drug tolerance.

Bothbarbiturates and benzodiazepines can be used in conjunction withother drugs to help treat other illnesses. However, they can causewithdrawal symptoms to a dependent patient similar to those inducedby alcohol.


Portney,L. G., &amp Watkins, M. P. (2015). Foundationsof clinical research: applications to practice.FA Davis.

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